Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Nanaimo hero rushed into harm’s way as shelters burned and cannisters exploded

Barry Hornby recognized for actions in Dec. 3 fire at downtown homeless camp

Exploding propane tanks and fiercely burning shelters didn’t deter a Vancouver Island man from taking heroic action earlier this month, with lives potentially on the line.

Barry Hornby, a bylaw officer with the City of Nanaimo, was presented with an appreciation award of bravery for the role he played in getting people to safety when a fire broke out in a downtown homeless encampment destroying several tents and triggering explosions.

“(Hornby) rushed into the scene of the fiercely burning fire of tents and contents, with tanks exploding, and guided people in the immediate vicinity out of harm’s way,” Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said. “This situation could have been catastrophic had it not been for his actions and others’ [actions]. This is courage at its finest. I need also to convey that this is not in his job description as a bylaws enforcement officer.”

Hornby was presented with the award at a meeting of city council Monday by Krog and Jake Rudolph, the city’s chief administration officer. Krog noted that this was an unusual presentation.

“I’m not sure if this is something that’s happened in the city’s history, potentially,” the mayor said.

Krog recounted the event, noting it was a large, intense fire that completely destroyed a number tents with explosions that shook nearby buildings, and said there were fortunately no injuries among the occupants of the encampment or city staff, firefighters and other emergency personnel who attended.

The mayor thanked Hornby for his “extraordinary and selfless act of courage” and commended him for a “remarkable act of bravery without regard for your personal safety.”

Krog also took a moment to comment on accounts circulated in social media and “different versions of events” surrounding the fire and its aftermath.

“Whatever else may come out of the story of the fire on Dec. 3, there is no question about the behaviour, the courage, demonstrated by Barry Hornby and others who attended that scene and did their best to make that situation much less of a disaster than it could have been and ensured the safety of many people,” Krog said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

RELATED: ‘Disorder, conflict, violence, frequent overdoses’: Why Nanaimo tent city was dismantled



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Awards

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

The intersection at Moilliet Street and Despard Avenue where a 12-year-old boy was struck by an oncoming vehicle early November while crossing at a marked crosswalk. (Mandy Moraes photo)
City staff members, school district officials to discuss high-traffic Parksville intersection

Young boy suffered broken leg after being hit in Despard/Moilliet crossing

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Another staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Nanaimo care home

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence employee is isolating, says Island Health

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read